Jonathan Majors is out at Marvel Studios in a stunning career blow for the once-rising actor.
On Dec. 18, a Manhattan jury found Majors guilty of reckless assault in the third degree and guilty of harassment following a two-week trial that stemmed from a March incident between the actor and his ex-partner, Grace Jabbari.
Before his March arrest, Majors was positioned as the key figure in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with the Disney-owned studio building its entire current story arc around Majors’ Kang the Conqueror. The time-traveling villain factored into this year’s Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania as well as both seasons of Loki, and he was going to lead Avengers: The Kang Dynasty, slated for May 1, 2026. The feature is still in the script phase and had not begun filming. No director is currently attached.
Marvel has two courses it could take now. It could recast the part, although it is not clear how many actors would be attracted to a role from which one actor was so publicly fired. The other course is to redevelop its plans and refocus on a brand new villain. While Marvel sources are mum, there is indication that the studio has already been doing just that. In November, Marvel hired Loki creator Michael Waldron to work on a new draft of what was once called Kang Dynasty, but is now being referred to as Avengers 5, according to sources.
The studio has had months to plan for such an eventuality, and it’s possible that Waldon was part of that course correction.
Marvel has recast in the past, but over creative and financial disputes, not for legal troubles. Terrence Howard starred in the first Iron Man as James Rhodes, while Edward Norton headlined The Incredible Hulk, both released in 2008. Howard declined to return for the 2010 Iron Man sequel, citing pay reasons, and Don Cheadle stepped into the role. Norton, meanwhile, clashed creatively with Marvel on Incredible Hulk, and Mark Ruffalo stepped into the role for The Avengers (2012). And more recently, the late William Hurt was replaced by Harrison Ford in the upcoming Captain America: New World Order as Thunderbolt Ross.
Majors was once considered one of the top rising actors in Hollywood. In addition to Quantumania, he starred in Creed III in 2023. He first rose to prominence with The Last Black Man in San Francisco, and went on to star in Devotion, Lovecraft Country, The Harder They Fall and Da 5 Bloods. The body-building drama Magazine Dreams bowed at Sundance in January 2023, though its fate remains in limbo as distributor Searchlight removed it from the calendar amid the actor’s legal troubles.
(Excerpt) Read more in: The Hollywood Reporter